Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-19

Common name:

Black Scoter

Scientific name: Melanitta negra
Date: 02/24/07 - 03/14/07
Time: various times
Length of time observed:  
Number: 2
Age: first winter / spring
Sex: male and female
Location: Sand Hollow State Park
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~900 m
Distance to bird: 50-200 m
Optical equipment: Zeiss 85 T Diascope (photographed through scope with Olympus Camedia camera)
Weather: A large front moved into the area bringing heavy clouds, rain, and snow at slightly higher elevations (than Sand Hollow), the night of the 22nd and early morning of the 23rd.
Light Conditions: variable over several days
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small to medium ducks (similar in size to nearby Lesser  Scaups), darkish brown, with round heads, dark eyes. Female had white cheeks offset with a darker brown cap extending down nape. male with brown head and yellow knob at the base of the bill.
Song or call & method of delivery: n/a
Behavior: Usually very active and staying close together, whether diving, swimming, foraging, preening, sleeping, etc. Both birds would simultaneously leap forward (with closed wings) when diving.
Habitat: large open water reservoir
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
These are the third and fourth Black Scoters I've observed in Washington County.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Although they didn't independently identify the scoters, these folks did observe the scoters later on the first afternoon they were found: Kevin Wheeler, Jon Wagner, Casey Smith, and Josh
Date prepared: 08/04/07
Additional material: Photo
Additional Comments: